There are other issues to deal with as a state representative besides Illinois' financial mess.
Among the issues: Deciding if gay couples should be allowed to marry, whether handgun owners should be allowed to carry them on their person, and how to regulate abortion.
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The two candidates for House District 50 which is home to both a Planned Parenthood medical clinic that performs abortions and pregnancy-care agencies that urge women not to have an abortion declare themselves to be pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights.
State Rep. Kay Hatcher's opponents in the Republican primary criticized her for that stance.
"As a Republican who believes that less government is the best government, I think it is very important that we safeguard the rights of the individual over government intrusion into people's lives ... safeguards must exist to protect a woman's ability to make that decision," Hatcher wrote in a Daily Herald questionnaire.
During the Republican primary, Hatcher received money and in-kind donations of services from a bipartisan political action committee that supports candidates who support abortion rights.
Hatcher is challenged by Democrat Linda Healy of Aurora.
"Part of this (being a state representative) is representing your district," Hatcher said in an interview, and she believes 50th District constituents do not want homosexual people to be able to marry.
It is "appropriate to consider some carefully crafted form of legislation that protects the rights of couples to make medical decisions," she wrote in her questionnaire. She then followed that up with comments on how it would apply to couples composed of elderly men and women who do not marry because of pension or Social Security benefit rules that would reduce their income.
Healy said she supports civil unions, including courthouse ceremonies, but not gay marriage. "Marriage is a rite. Many churches (which conduct the rite) find it (gay marriage) not acceptable," she said.
Healy and Hatcher were asked for their stance on gun ownership and gun laws.
Healy said it is an issue she "struggles with." She has a son who almost became a police officer, and has several close relatives who own guns and believe people should have the right to carry concealed weapons.
"Let's enforce the laws we have, before enacting more," she said, such as penalizing owners of unregistered guns in municipalities that require registration.
Hatcher cites her background growing up on a farm in central Illinois, where her father hunted for food to feed the family. "Illinois already has a strong FOID system for those who abide by the law," she said, and rules designed by Chicago (such as handgun registration or bans on handguns) "should not overshadow the rest of the state."
Hatcher was first elected in 2008, replacing Patricia Reid Lindner. The Yorkville resident served on the Kendall County board from 1991 to 1996 and 2002 to 2008, and was president of the Kendall County Forest Preserve Commission from 2002 to 2008.
Healy is the retired longtime director of the Mutual Ground domestic violence shelter in Aurora. It is her first run for office.